"This Program Lets You Learn at Your Own Pace"
Zach moved back to the Seattle area after a job opportunity fell through on the East Coast. He didn’t have any prospects and found himself at YouthCare, a FareStart partner that supports youth experiencing homelessness. While there, he heard about the Youth Barista Program, a program between YouthCare and FareStart, and decided to check it out.
“This program lets you learn at your own pace,” Zach said. “They adapt their teaching style so that every student can be successful. They would check in with you to see if you were ready for the next step and even though we were in a program, it felt more just like learning new skills with some really cool people.”
The program provides participants an hourly salary. Oftentimes that pay is critical for youth trying to get their own place to live.
“That pay lets you put down a deposit,” Zach said. “It can get you first and last month rent and the job training and other support sets you up to be independent if you work for it.”
Zach may come back to the foodservice industry someday, but for now he works for an app-based transportation company where he decides his own hours and availability. The lessons and skills he learned in the Youth Barista Program are still serving him well as he is 100% responsible for his success.
“You’re taught customer service and responsibility,” Zach said. “And after the program is over, they still check in with me and offer support. It’s not just a quick goodbye and that’s really helpful. We also learned budgeting skills and that is setting me up to get everything started.”